Wednesday 24th March (my apologies for being a day late)
I wrote a separate letter to parents and carers on Tuesday 23rd March. The highlights are:
- Reporting LFT home test results. I received confirmation yesterday that there is an expectation for parents to register all results (void, negative and positive) with their child’s school. To make this a lot easier for everyone, we have purchased software from ‘TestRegister’. You will receive an invitation e-mail.
- Issue of further home testing kitsWe w ill issue two more packs of three testing kits each to every student for whom we have ‘permission to test’ consent, on Friday 26th If a student is absent that day, kits will be issued during the week beginning 29th March. If you have any problems with the kits themselves, or used more than anticipated because of void results, please contact Ann Hopkins:
- Testing during the Easter holiday. It is clear from Government guidance that students should continue testing twice a week during the Easter holiday, and as noted above, extra kits are being provided. The guidance states this is important to ‘manage the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) as part of a regular habit of testing at home’. Testing remains voluntary, but highly recommended.
- Testing in College The initial testing process has now concluded, with 4,538 tests conducted. We will maintain one testing bay for exceptional cases (new students, students with particular needs, visitors who require an LFT). Once again, I must pay tribute to the 29 volunteers and my colleagues who made the mass testing run so efficiently and well.
Home Testing Positive Results and Self-Isolation
- The “rules” have now changed because we have stopped testing in-College.
- If a student (or household member) has a positive result from a LFT home test, the household should isolate AND arrange a PCR test (at a NHS testing centre). If the PCR is also positive, the household should continue to isolate for ten days. But if the PCR result is negative, there is no requirement for the household to isolate.
- In College, this applies to close contacts as well. For example, if a student tests positive at home, we are required to identify close contacts who would then isolate. If a PCR test is returned negative, then those close contacts can return to College after what is likely to be one day at home.
The DfE has also published the following two blogs which provide further information on testing for school staff, students and families:
This clip from Durham University is helpful on how to conduct the test,
Despite the contradictions in government guidance, student compliance in mask-wearing is very good indeed. Young people don’t like wearing masks, and do need frequent reminders especially after eating, but they are doing really well. We are still treading the fine line between encouraging and recommending their use, while accepting that the government has not made masks mandatory.
There have been two positive LFT tests for Year 8 students. Both are false positives, confirmed by PCR tests. Because of the peculiar Public Health requirements, one in-College test has resulted in 48 ten-day isolations, and one home test none at all.
All colleagues who tested positive in February have now recovered and are back at work. Three clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) staff remain shielding until 31st March.
Before Christmas 12 students tested positive for covid, as well as 31 family/household members. Over the holiday we were informed of 2 further students testing positive. Since the start of term there have been 11 students with a positive result and 19 family/household members.
Please keep informing us of any positive tests ! Contact details are below.
I have been using the NEU Covid Map and BBC Coronavirus near me to track local rates. However, these give cases per 100,000 population, and now that cases are very small, the cases/100,000 is potentially quite misleading. So, I am now using a NHS Dashboard.
This shows that there were fewer than 3 cases in the Broadclyst & Cranbrook area in the latest week; 3 cases in Pinhoe, 3 in Mincinglake and Beacon Heath, and 3 in Bradninch and area.
Summer Exams 2021
On Thursday 25th February the results of the consultation on grading of public exams were announced, with the government’s roadmap. More details are due in the next few days. It is probable that most assessments will be after Easter, and will be spread out to reduce the “exam week” pressure; the priority beforehand is to complete courses and non-examined assessments. This will vary between subjects.
Key Points to Remember
- Please do not send your child to school if they have covid symptoms.
- Please do not send your child to school if they have had symptoms and are waiting for a test result even if they seem better.
- If any member of a household has symptoms, everyone must stay away from school or work until the test result is known. If positive, everyone must isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms or 10 days from the test date if there were no symptoms.
- Please tell us [student absence; AtHoS; Post-16] if your child or household member has symptoms; test dates and results; dates you have been given for a return to school. This applies even if your child is not attending College.
- Please use the number below for reporting an “out-of-hours” positive test result.
- It is highly recommended that students wear masks at all times unless exempt.
Catch up press notice 24/02- New education recovery package for children and young people – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Guidance for settings
Wraparound Guidance- Providers: Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Selective school admissions- Coronavirus (COVID-19): assessment processes for selective school admissions – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Guidance for Parents
Wraparound guidance- Parents/carers: Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
|Evenings, weekends and holidays– reporting of Covid-19 positive test results|
We have introduced a dedicated phone number, solely for reporting positive Covid-19 test results at evenings and weekends
The number is: 07818 212 931
It is not for suspected cases, non-Covid-19 illness or absence, and is not an advice line.
Please text positive Covid-19 test result information to this number, including:
· Name of student
· Student’s tutor group
· Date symptoms appeared
· Which symptoms, or no symptoms
· Date of test
· Date of test result
If necessary, someone will contact you having received this information. Thank you!